May 25, 2022

Storytelling with Data: How to effectively tell stories with data visualizations?

Storytelling with Data: How to effectively tell stories with data visualizations?

Storytelling with Data: How to effectively tell stories with data visualizations?

Storytelling is a valuable skill to learn and practice over time as it helps to present our ideas in an organized and interesting way. People love to listen and engage with a storyline that captivates them. Using data with storytelling will bring a significant impact to your ideas and audience.

In this blog, our mentor- Prasanta Kumar Dutta, a Data Visualisation Developer at Thomson Reuters will explain more about how and why data visualizations is effective when presenting your information. 

Storytelling with Data: The reasons data visualizations is powerful

  1. Data visualization is a way of transforming information into knowledge

Data visualisations help the audience see the story of the underlying numbers may have to tell. Visualisations are an effective way to present complex data. For example, charts and graphs, infographics, diagrams, maps and even illustrations!

  1. A good visualization helps tell a good story

Through impactful and powerful visuals. For example, explaining how the face masks work (image below) or the Delhi’s winter air pollution problem.

  1. It triggers emotions to your story

When visuals tell the story, it can have an emotional impact on the readers. For example, the Coronavirus Twitter data visualization in India.


An infographic created by world-renowned data visualization maker David McCandless who is the creator of Information is Beautiful depicts the essential components of a successful data visualization.

Storytelling With Data: Tips to choose an effective visualization mode for your information and data 

  • Is your project conceptual or data-driven?
  • Are you declaring or exploring something?

Read more here: Visualizations That Really Work.

Data dashboard example that uses exploratory data visualisation as a part of telling a bigger narrative on the state of COVID stats around the world (Covid-19 Vaccination Tracker) by Reuters

Watch this video on How to Improve Your Skills in Storytelling with Data.

Storytelling With Data: Tips to choose an appropriate chart for your data

                                                      Data Visualization Project Reference


  • Set the goal of your visuals.
  • Form follows functions; The form of your DataViz is driven by the purpose it will serve to the audience

Storytelling with Data: Benefits of storytelling with data visualizations

  • Exchange and challenge ideas
    People come from different backgrounds and living different life experiences, and backgrounds. Presenting data as a story with visuals could bring new conversations, new realizations that we could never think of before.
  • Connect with your audience’s mind
    When presenting data, we want our audience to feel the same way about the data as the storyteller wants to understand the story.

  • Understand the flow of your narrative
    Visuals, as we know, can tell a story on its own. Your role as a data visualiser to weave the narrative with those data-driven visuals To guide them from the start till the end. An image speaks a thousand words, your job is to provide the introduction, climax, and conclusion for your audience. Don’t keep them guessing with wrong interpretations.
  • Creating impactful and meaningful presentations
    Data-driven stories without visuals is like staring at a blank wall with voices. You heard the sound, you understand what the presenter is saying, but at the same time, it is easy for you to lose focus. Data visualizations helps the audience to stay in focus on your story.

  • Provide context to your story
    Audiences are more likely to believe in your story when you provide data to your story. You are not bluffing anyone, you know what you’re talking about! 

Data Visualization and Visual Storytelling Tools

  1. Rawgraphs 

Key Features:

  • Tune your chart and map your data dimensions visually
  1. Datawrapper

Key Features:

  • No code or design skills are required and responsive on desktop devices, tablets, or smartphones
  1. Infogram


Key Features:

  • Provide a custom template with your brand, colors, fonts, and logo and offers interactive animations, charts, and maps.
  1. Nugit

Key Features:

  • Data sharing for business users, customers agencies, and agencies and offers unique infographics with English language text summaries and highlights.

  1. Luminoso

Key Features:

  • Transform text data into business-critical insights and allows users at all technical levels and across any industry to analyze unstructured text.

Read about Storytelling your way to innovation and Product Storytelling: How to Grab the User's Attention.

Share your storytelling ideas during your 1:1 mentoring session and get instant feedback!

Prasanta Kumar Dutta(ADPList Mentor) 
Data visualisation developer at Thomson Reuters
ADPList account:
LinkedIn account: 

Editor and Writer: 
Farah Radzi
Content Marketer and Writer at ADPList
LinkedIn account: